When not sticking to a good ‘ol cuppa at Europe’s most psychedelic festival, Patrick Walker is 40 Watt Sun, Britain’s most evocative doom band since, well, Warning. In Iron Fist #10 Sarah Kitteringham spoke to him about musical catharsis, influences and a potential new album…
Two years on and that album is here. To mark the release of ‘Pictures’ (scroll down for a sneak preview), a new song from the forthcoming ‘Wider than the Sky’ (out on October 14 on the band’s own label Radiance Records) we are re-publishing that article in its entirety. Welcome back Mr Walker.
Guitarist and vocalist Patrick Walker was just 17-years-old when he formed Warning. The band, and the project that followed in the wake of their final breakup in 2009 – the luminous 40 Watt Sun – inspire flagrant emotional hyperbolic description that seem entirely out of place within the realms of metal. This is music that gives you the “feels”.
Emotive descriptors aside, 40 Watt Sun’s music is slow and dense with dynamic Sabbathian bass lines and reverb soaked percussion; the cymbal work gives the music light and shade, bouncing alongside Walker’s simple, cascading riffs. The vocals are expressive and clean; in contrast the guitar tones are beefy and … Read More
Those youngsters love to cover their tracks don’t they? Not only have they chosen an, erm, questionable moniker but despite their Mexican passport and young age, Question are playing an unpolished yet mournful form of death metal that seems to have crawled out of the Tico-Tico studio circa 1991. “Indeed, we have certain affinity for the Finnish rottenness,” admits their 24-year-old bass player, Héctor. “But you can easily find that element in many of the old Mexican bands so it’s all connected. We are big fans of metal in general, and I think lots of styles are present in our music, not only Finnish death metal. The early ’90s scene is special to us because of its naivety though. If later on, the genre became jaded, back then it was still young, fresh and dared exploring many different areas.”
The band is based in Querétaro, 200 km North-West of Mexico City and where Disgorge or Hacavitz are also from. It was put together in the spring of 2010 by Héctor and guitar player Rodrigo: “The scene over here got boring lately, the new generation doesn’t have any ideas, nor dedication besides being ‘cool’. At least we have some good punk gigs … Read More
Having helped form Amon Amarth in 1992 and played on their debut EP and album, Anders Biazzi nevertheless chose to leave in ’98 to focus on his personal life. Only ten years later did the guitarist resurface, first with the gloriously old-school Blood Mortized and now with Just Before Dawn, a studio-project à la Probot. The formula is simple: first, a basic line-up – consisted of Biazzi, his BM compadre Gustav Myrin and Puteraeon’s Jonas Lindblood – record in his own studio what his creator calls with a wink “Streamroller death metal songs” about that immortal topic called war (“Mostly from the darkest times in the WWII but also from the future. We sometimes focus on a specific event, like the battle of the Bulge on the song ‘Bastogne’ or about the U-boats in the Atlantic with ‘As Death Breaks the Surface’ too.”) Then, various guest singers and drummers, “contacted through mutual friends or social networks”, pitch in, adding their own two cents to the recipe. With a total of twenty four (!) musicians involved, their second album ‘The Aftermath’ is an even more ambitious undertaking than its predecessor, ‘Precis Innan Gryningen’. It feels like a high-school reunion with Rick … Read More
Without something of a misty-eyed perspective on metal in the ’80s, it’s quite possible this publication you hold in your hands wouldn’t exist. Yet even amidst the blizzard of tassles, battle-jackets and Nike hi-tops that oft constitutes a vision of the decade, it’s quite possible to lose sight of the original spirit – the true, bloody-minded essence of steel that battled against adversity throughout that often tricky era. At a time in which Bryan Adams’ ‘Reckless’ was voted Kerrang!’s album of the year, in which Bon Jovi headlined Donington, and in which Candlemass were dropped by Black Dragon Records due to lack of sales, the racket we now cherish often was forced to maintain its strident and overblown demeanour in the face of indifference and hostility. The indomitable elixir that led it to survive is a thing of vainglory, a thing of Cecil B. De Mille-esque grandeur (often on a tight budget) and frequently a thing of sheer foolhardy hubris. Moreover, true rivetheads wouldn’t have it any other way.
One suspects that Below, Nykoping, Sweden’s relatively fresh-faced troupe, understand all this only too well. Arriving in the wake of an EP that gained them considerable plaudits for their refreshingly epic take … Read More
THE TOWER’s guitarist August considers rock music “to be a zealously syncretic religion, a holy tradition that includes but is not limited to the metal community.” Consequently the Uppsala, Sweden, quartet’s debut ‘HIC ABUNDANT LEONES’ (‘here are lions in abundance’) effortlessly captures a pure guitar-led homage to all the best parts of rock music from the past 40 years. DARREN J. SADLER talks to three quarters of the band about the making of this future classic.
Tell us about the reason why you have called yourself The Tower. August (guitar): “The Tower has a very dramatic symbolism, as the tower of Babel, the tower in the Tarot. As such it describes a process that is at the heart of our band and also of rock music in general; the alternation between tension and release in the music, the hubris of a rock star rising to the top, and the soteriological catharsis of collapse and rebirth inherent in every good crescendo. Apart from that the Tower is also a place. The archetypal rehearsal room outside of space and time, where the spirits and Bacchants convene, the ivory tower of the plectrum-wielding disciples of Apollo, and the fortress that gives me shelter.” Erik (vocals): “We all are … Read More
Making it to three decades for any band is a rarity, but when you’ve had to overcome near-death experiences, small-town bullying and worse of all, the grunge boom, 30 years is most definitely something to celebrate. Louise Brown talks to the queen of survival about how there’s 30 more years in her yet
When did you first discover your passion for music? Doro: “I was three-years-old. The first real experience that totally got me hooked was Little Richard’s ‘Lucille’. That song was so high energy. When I listened to it I thought, ‘I want to do that, I want to sing’. Later I had some contact with some older boys. They had posters of Alice Cooper, Sweet, Slade, T-Rex. I was always singing along to their hard rock records and they thought it was very funny. I was screaming my heart out, I could really yell. They were shocked, they said, ‘Wow, how can a little girl make that noise?’. I was fascinated with all the guys with long hair, like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and the glam rock. And then there was Suzi Quatro, the first girl I heard, I loved her. Metal didn’t exist and when I was 15 then … Read More
“Through repetition and space, we have a tendency to create anticipation for a climax that never arrives,” says Taurus of the sickening unease that permeates the entirety of their full-length debut, ‘No/Thing’. Cut to two-inch tape by Billy Anderson and self-released in a number of unique physical guises, the psychoactive terror trip of ‘No/Thing’ is, according to the Portland-based duo of Stevie Floyd and Ashley Spungin, a means of “translating a live ritual to a recording rather than a recording to live.”
The band ritualise experimental doom/black/death metal along with Arabic scales, spoken-word samples of inspirational women to Taurus (which includes Gangaji, Delia Derbyshire, Yayoi Kusama, and Lisa Gerrard), and lysergic Krautrock-inspired loops created to pierce your third eye. “The goal is to create music that challenges and stimulates our mind and body in a new way,” says Taurus. “Our inspirations stem from where science and nature meet, traditional music, Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’, the Kabbalah, the present moment… as well as Death, Immolation, Blut Aus Nord, Tangerine Dream, Dead Can Dance, Goblin, Swans, Leviathan… the list goes on.”
Speaking of Leviathan, Wrest guests on album closer ‘Receed’, a freeform piece written in the studio and heavy on the horror-thump of a … Read More
Municipal Waste may have crowned themselves as the kings of party, with a drunken fan-base stumbling behind them but Tony Foresta, like his other Waste bandmates, shows a different side with Iron Reagan. Despite playing “house shows and dive bars” for the last couple of years, the crossover project consisting of Rob Skotis (Hellbear), Mark Bronzino (Mammoth Grinder, ANS) and Ryan Parrish (ex-Darkest Hour) have just been added to the Relapse roster allowing their politically-fuelled punk to reach the masses. “For me it’s cool because you can’t really go into that territory lyrically with Municipal Waste,” Tony explains when discussing the very obvious political themes. “Nobody wants to hear a band that sings about drinking the entire time try to wax philosophical about women’s rights in Virginia!”
With their debut album ‘Worse Than Dead’ released last year, Iron Reagan are already following it up with a 13 song EP coming soon and although it only lasts an insane seven minutes, there’s an evolution to be heard. “I think with the addition of Mark and Rob to the band it definitely has a darker sound, as well as being heavier. It’s still fast as shit though. Hardcore punk metal, man.”
As well as … Read More
Classic heavy-metal! Punk rock! Women yielding swords! The recipe worked so perfectly with Iron Dogs so why shouldn’t it with Ottawa’s Zex? Especially since they have in common multi-instrumentalist and former Germ Attak and Cauchemar live member Jo Capitalicide… While Iron Dogs are “not doing much at the moment”, with no warning this quartet have just unleashed their debut EP ‘Savage City’ on Electric Assault, two tracks of sing-alongs and fist-banging that conjures the late ’70s spirit of both the nascent NWOBHM and glam-punk scenes, performed by a half-female, half-male line-up. “Zex was a long time in the making,” unveils Jo. “But the concept lurked in my mind for a long time before finally materialising. With the demise of Germ Attak in 2011, I ended up with loads of unused ideas that I started working on about a year later. Gretchen was to be our singer and Rick Morin, who played bass for Germ Attak on our final tour, was to be our lead guitarist but sadly, as we had no rhythm section at the time, he soon left. We had to wait until people moved to Ottawa to get a full line-up and since last November, we‘ve been rehearsing … Read More
Bestial Devastation (no, we don’t know his real name either) doesn’t like being in the limelight, at all. Luckily, with his prime band Negative Plane he doesn’t have to be, since he’s “just” the drummer. But since he’s responsible for basically everything, from recording to performing all the instruments, on Funereal Presence’s first real full-length and since said album is one of the best damn proper black-metal albums of this spring, we had to ask him about it, even if, to his own admission, he doesn’t like doing interviews, thus rarely does any nor agreed to have any form of promo pictures taken; “I don’t think that any of this adds anything to my music or that I have many interesting things to say that the music doesn’t… I also prefer concise and esoteric album layouts immensely and some boring picture of myself would only interfere with letting one’s imagination run freely.”
Clocking in at 48 minutes yet featuring only four tracks, three of them being over 12 minutes long, ‘The Archer Takes Aim’s force is to (re)capture that Darkthrone dirty guitar tone and vibe circa ‘Total Death’ (even if the artist would rather cite the old German extreme pioneers Poison … Read More
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